This Prom Night Puts Kids With Special Needs in the Spotlight

Many children will encounter bullying at some point in their lives. But children with special needs are especially at risk, and this bullying can wreak long-term psychological damage: According to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, being left out, ignored or bullied by peers is one of the main reasons children with special needs report symptoms of anxiety and depression.
In an effort to change this, the Tim Tebow Foundation hosts Night to Shine, an annual prom night experience for children with special needs. The nonprofit is led by the former star athlete and 200,000 volunteers worldwide, who are paired with guests as “buddies” for the evening.
Guests can dress up and have their makeup and hair done, as they might do for a real high-school prom, but instead of the prom having just one king and queen, each attendee leaves the event with a crown.
The event is one of the organization’s highlights of the year. Watch the above video to learn more about Night to Shine and the Tim Tebow Foundation.

‘Layaway Angels’ Sweep The Nation with Generous Acts

This holiday season, anonymous Good Samaritans stepped up to help families in need from coast to coast. These men and women, called “layaway angels,” plunked down large sums of cash at their local retailers to pay off the layaway account balances for total strangers.
In Bellingham, Mass. Toys R Us, a generous woman paid off every single layaway balance to the tune of $20,000, local TV station Fox 25 reports. “I have no words. I can’t believe someone would do that, it’s so nice,” Diane Brewer, a mom from Mendon who was working extra shifts to pay for presents for her son, tells the station. “I have been running around all week picking up layaways everywhere, so this is really awesome.”
At an Oldsmar, Fla. Walmart, one man (later identified as John Sanders of Jamson Labs & Power Kleen Corporation) gave $12,000 to clear the layaway balances for 55 customers, according to Fox 13. “Our theory was if people had it on layaway, they were maybe struggling a little bit for the holidays,” Sanders says.
MORE: They Helped Him Enjoy Christmas When He Was Poor. Now He’s Helping Them.
The Consumerist notes that this touching trend kicked off in 2011 after a California man dropped $16,000 to pay off layaway balances for local families. This season, Secret Santas have also popped up in places such as ClevelandIowa City, IowaMechanicsburg, Pa.; Chiefland, Fla. and nearby in Lake City, Fla.; where a generous donor paid a whopping $59,000 to clear 300 accounts at a local Walmart.
Even NFL player Tim Tebow is joining in on the good cheer. The Atlanta Journal Constitution writes that the quarterback teamed up with “Good Morning America” to surprise shoppers for a whole week.
“You don’t understand how hard I’ve been working,” Damara Jarrett said after Tebow paid off her $701 tab. “And then I said I was going to take stuff off [the account] because I can’t afford everything, and then this. Just thank you. I just want to cry.”
With the type of news that’s been dominating the headlines, it’s truly wonderful to see something positive that’s sweeping the country.
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